The term "wedding hanger" only partially describes what it is you are buying. In, fact, it's probably describing the least creative feature. The real star of the show is the wire that has been crafted against it's original state, into a name of phrase. The name or the phrase is the sentiment being expressed with this wedding favor.
But before I get to describing the relevant qualities of wire, let me get something out of the way...
...THE WIRE BENDS!
I know this seems obvious, but it's absolutely the number one complaint by a mile, which is why I put it up there in all caps. Perhaps when we think of hangers, the wire many of us first picture in our heads is the stiff wire hangers we get from the dry cleaners. You know, the hangers that look like tarnished brass or bronze and scratch the crap out of you when you're not paying attention. The wire is too strong to work with on a regular basis and maintain a decent price. Instead, something like aluminium is used in order to craft names artfully.
The wire is important as it is the medium which the message is communicated through. There are two key factors with wire
- wire gauge
- crafters "handwriting" or font (topic for the next post)
Gauge is a technical term for how thick the wire is. I'd venture to guess that the vast majority (over 90%) of the wire used by crafters making custom bridal hangers, is made from aluminum. Aluminum's pliability and it's price make it the only real option.
Thick Wire (less than 12 guage)
- The phrase is more easily seen and read, both in real life and photos.
- Slightly more stable when attached to the wooden hanger.
- Tough to keep smooth. Imperfections show up more clearly.
- More expensive.
- Fits fewer characters.
Thin Wire (greater than 12 gauge)
- Less expensive.
- Easier to work with as the crafter
- Fits a lot more characters.
- Flimsy...did I mention this before?
- Bends out of shape incredibly easy, especially when shipping.
- Harder to read from normal distances, and photographing is more difficult
I have worked with both 12 gauge and 10 gauge regularly. I like using the 12 as it allows me to accommodate many of the longer phrases or names bride's request. It also installs nicely into the hanger, securely fastening it preventing detachment. In the end, it will depend on what you want your wedding hanger to say, and what vendor or business you've chosen.